Monday, October 01, 2012

In Cincy, Burlington and Shreveport, a tale of three Gannett newspapers -- with one suffering mightily

As Gannett remakes its U.S. newspapers to further emphasize digital over print, and jacks up subscription prices an average 25%, at least three dailies are really getting overhauled: In Cincinnati, Burlington, Vt., and Shreveport, La., the changes include adopting dramatically smaller tabloid formats.

The Cincinnati Enquirer is scheduled to make the move from broadsheet by the end of the year -- assuming its production partner, the Columbus Dispatch, completes a retrofit of its presses in time.

The Burlington Free Press flipped the switch in June -- with predictably mixed reaction from readers, according to a New York Times story posted online last night. The NYT doesn't quantify the response; instead it quotes critics and fans alike.

But based on recent events in Louisiana, and an internal operational review last spring by Corporate, it's clear The Times of Shreveport is in a world of hurt -- and the pain isn't limited to the change to a Berliner format two years ago.

A new publisher was installed in January. The advertising department got reorganized in the spring. A power outage in July briefly shut down operations, affecting the four other Louisiana dailies it serves. Those dailies delayed their move to the Des Moines page design hub until at least January. And the production chief left earlier this month.


  1. However, Shreveport did NOT raise subscription prices in conjunction with the pay wall. Apparently an experiment to see if the site can avoid the losses other sites felt with the "full access model." Not working so well. Online traffic is down, with readers complaining on Shreveport's Facebook page when the paper promos a link to a story: "I'd read it if I didn't have to pay."

  2. It's gonna take a lot to print this rag for you
    There's nothing that a hundred reporters or more could ever do
    I put the blame down on Africa
    Gonna take some time to fix the things we'll never have...

    (Repeat Chorus)...apologies to Toto

  3. Correction Jim: Cincinnati’s new production partner is the Columbus Dispatch, not the Dayton Daily News.

  4. Shreveport's problems began when Laura and Linda moved Zanmiller out his publisher position and gave it to Bailey. Shreveport went from the community paper to a paper the advertisers would like nothing to do with. Laura and Linda did not know who they had. They failed us giving us a publisher who cares nothing about the community. His closed minded mentality has forced advertisers to do business with other media. Bailey failed to realize that our advertisers generate the bulk of our revenue and this is what pays our salaries. Laura and Linda failed us. Bailey failed us.

  5. Laura and Linda absolutely had no idea who they had. They were evening a score and they lost big time, as did Shreveport. This site is suffering. Zanmiller's departure was a huge, huge loss for Gannett.

  6. Yes, 9:04, Pete's departure was a huge loss for The Times and Gannett, but like those of us who are no longer with Gannett, he is happy and his family is happy. Life is good and what often is thought to be a devastating situation really is a blessing in disguise.

  7. I don't know Zanmiller but I worked for Bailey in the past and he ran our paper in the ground. I've been reading posts and not responded because I'm not a Gannett employee but I wish the Shreveport paper well because Bailey will not change his ways until he is gone.

  8. If Gracia wants to see what kind of talentless leaders she's promoting, all she needs to do is look at Shreveport and see where we're at since moving into the Midwest Group.

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.